TARMAT – Out of the Blue

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0dVETbP5NLiYQFPtVIA3Na The Brazilian melodic rock/AOR outfit known as Tarmat is a real pleasant surprise to these ears as this quartet delivers some incredibly well-written, pristine-sounding tunes that lean toward the magical vibes of Toto, Journey, Boston, and to a lesser extent Europe. Did you say earworms and irresistible hooks? Fear not…

ENUFF Z’NUFF – Finer Than Sin

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://www.enuffznuff.com/ Their 17th studio album sees Chip Z’Nuff and his skilled bandmates in fine form as they deliver a well-crafted slab of power pop, which essentially means that all the group’s trademarks with respect to melody lines and atmospheres and so on are firmly in place throughout and that the mixture…

AUTOGRAPH – Beyond

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/autographband/ The latest release by Autograph is a bittersweet affair in that it is both musically solid and a hugely enjoyable listen but sadly, it also marks the last recorded output by founding member and bass player extraordinaire Randy Rand as he passed away before this well-written album saw the light…

ENEMY EYES – History’s Hand

RELEASE YEAR: 2022BAND URL: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4ECxgPVegGSXTfZyVzJ786 Featuring the inimitable Johnny Gioeli (Hardline) on vocals, Enemy Eyes is truly a delight to these ears in that this skilled new outfit combines classic heavy metal with hard rock, and the result is deeply satisfying to immerse oneself in. First of all, it genuinely sounds like a true and…

ABOUT US – About Us

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/AboutUsNagaland/ It is not often that something as exotic as kick-ass and dynamic hard rock from India finds its way to my mailbox, but I am really grateful that this vigorous and passionate opus by About Us did as this is a fantastic debut album. Energetic and chock-full of good ideas, the talented ensemble merge the old with…

CHEZ KANE – Powerzone

RELEASE YEAR: 2022BAND URL: https://www.chezkane.com/ I really liked the previous album by Chez Kane (i.e. the self-titled one from 2021) and find her a terrific singer with a lot of charisma, but this latest LP of hers, which was written and produced by Danny Rexon from Crazy Lixx, lacks those truly hook-laden and memorable delights…

THE HEART OF THE STORM – AN INTERVIEW WITH WILDNESS

Back in October 2022, I received a promo copy of a most impressive and dynamic slab of kick-ass hard rock entitled Resurrection by the Swedish outfit named Wildness. Apart from crafting melodically strong and hook-laden tunes that are outright irresistible, what makes this particular band so great is the fact that they also weave different…

TABOO – Taboo

RELEASE YEAR: 2022BAND URL: https://taboo.band/ Taboo is a sparkling new hard rock/melodic heavy metal outfit from Denmark that includes one legendary guitarist named Ken Hammer (Pretty Maids) in its ranks, and this is a crunchy, modern-sounding opus that packs a serious punch and contains some stellar compositions. Sharp as a razor and as heavy as…

GINEVRA – We Belong to the Stars

RELEASE YEAR: 2022BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/GinevraRock/ What a wicked surprise this potent slab of melodic heavy metal/hard rock is. Featuring the talented singer Kristian Fyhr (Seventh Crystal), renowned guitar-slinger Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, The Ferrymen), kick-ass bassist Jimmy Jay (H.E.A.T.), and drummer Magnus Ulfstedt (Nordic Union), it is safe to say that these dudes know exactly…

KILLER KINGS – Burn for Love

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/KillerKingsRock/ Killer Kings is a new project by Frontiers Records in which vocalist Gregory Lynn Hall (ex-101 South) and the kick-ass guitarist Tristan Avakian have joined forces and are backed by Nicholas Papapicco on drums and the ever-present Alessandro Del Vecchio on bass and keyboards. Not exactly a bad line-up, right?…

ORIANTHI – Rock Candy

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://www.instagram.com/iamorianthi/ The hugely talented Orianthi is keeping busy and staying creative these days, which is great to see, and her latest LP entitled Rock Candy is a fine entry in the awesome lady’s discography. That hard and sharp sound of the record suits the material quite nicely, and I love the…

WILDNESS – Resurrection

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/wildnessofficial/ An excellent slab of melodic rock courtesy of the Swedish outfit Wildness is what you and I are going to discuss ever so briefly here, and you know what? I will kick things off by stating that Resurrection is a hugely enjoyable listen and a well-composed collection of tunes that…

ALICE COOPER – Live from the Astroturf

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://www.ear-music.net/alice-cooper-live-from-the-astroturf/ What a lovely little package this CD/Blu Ray release is! Back in 2015, the remaining original members of the Alice Cooper band reunited on a small stage in the Good Records store in Texas and played a short and concise set of songs in front of a rapturous audience. The…

ANNIKEN – Climb Out Of Hell

RELEASE YEAR: 2022 BAND URL: https://facebook.com/profile.phpid=100063610741197 I wish there was a God, I’d pray for salvation…If somehow, I could believe, that there was a saviour then maybe this life I lead would be less filled with sin. If there’s no god, no light at the end…then tell me what’s the meaning of it all (Save…

HOUSE OF LORDS – Saints and Sinners

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/HouseOfLordsB/ A new LP by US hard rockers House of Lords is usually welcome news, and this inspired offering is big, loud, and colorful. Embracing their 70s influences fully and channeling everything through their own unique filter has resulted in a varied and engaging work charged with passion and spirit. Actually,…

FANS OF THE DARK – Suburbia

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://www.instagram.com/fansofthedarkband/ Yes, this is just what the good melodic hard rock doctor ordered – a brand-new and crunchy-sounding opus by the lovable Swedish outfit known as Fans of the Dark. While their first offering, i.e. the self-titled opus from 2021, was quite entertaining albeit slightly uneven and lacking in truly amazing…

BATTERING RAM – Second To None

RELEASE YEAR: 2022 BAND URL: http://www.battering-ram.com/ The Swedish hard rock and heavy metal quartet Battering Ram struck again a couple months ago with their sophomore release after the acclaimed eponymous²⁰²⁰ which I had reviewed here (4.5/6) having taken notice of the talent and potential while pointing out the usual trappings of the debuts: the inconsistent…

SICK N’ BEAUTIFUL – Starstruck

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/sicknbeautifulband/ These industrial hard rockers from Italy released this energetic output titled Starstruck containing several meaty tunes a few months ago, and I must say that I found it a rather refreshing and inspired listen. With its crunchy riffs, impassioned vocals, and explosive rhythm section, the LP contains both heart and…

WINTER – Fire Rider

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://winter5.bandcamp.com/album/fire-rider I was quite taken with Winter’s atmospheric and moving Looking Back compilation CD, which was released earlier this year and consisted of reworked and re-recorded tunes, but this latest output, Fire Rider is a frustratingly mixed bag in terms of cohesiveness and quality. It incorporates ideas and influences from hard…

STAR CIRCUS – Separate Sides

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://www.starcircus.co.uk/ The marvelous outfit known as Star Circus, which hails from London, is the real fucking deal and delivers a scorching slab of fist-pumping, arena-sized rock loaded with more hooks than you and I deserve. Oh, you want superb melodies, massive riffs, crashing drums, and raunchy vocals too? Fret not as…

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